Erith Town (1) 1, Guildford City (0) 0
by Barry Underwood
It was Erith Town that advanced to the third round of the FA Vase courtesy of a solitary goal in the first half. For Guildford this was a tough assignment with the Kent side third in their league with four games in hand on the sides above them. In four matches in the competition thus far Erith are yet to concede a goal. The first 10 minutes were pretty even with both sides probing, and in the first minute a Lloyd Connelly long throw caused some consternation in the Erith penalty area. Gradually the home side gained more territory with Steadman Callender especially looking dangerous on the right flank. It was no great surprise when Erith broke the deadlock after 31 minutes. An Erith free-kick was played in low where a defender was turned and the ball slid through to Callender who shot low past Craig Smith for his 18th goal of the season. There followed a period of Erith domination and with the crowd behind them the home side might have run away with the game. A cross from either side of the pitch saw headers go wide of the target but otherwise City defended stubbornly. As the half neared its conclusion Guildford’s attack sprung to life. A great cross from Ricardo Andre saw Antonio Dembele miss a great headed chance, and moments later a Stephan Langley cross caused confusion and Dembele was brilliantly tackled in the act of shooting.
City’s performance after the break was much improved, although they did survive a scare early on when Alfie Eldridge headed a bouncing ball over the bar. But Guildford responded well. Leon Dadey cut into the box and fed Zeid Hannachi whose powerful effort was spectacularly headed off of the goal line by James Trueman. The ball was turned back into the box but went narrowly wide of the far post. Minutes later Hannachi broke out of midfield to put Antonio Dembele through on the right although he was to be denied by a brilliant covering tackle on the edge of the box. On 68 minutes Zeid Hannachi won a header in the box which was comfortably saved by Mackenzie Foley. With 15 minutes Stephan Langley’s cross was deflected inches wide of the post and from the resulting corner Foley saved well low down from Leon Dadey’s shot. On 82 minutes Craig Smith kept City in the game saving at point-blank range. As the game went into stoppage time Harvey Valter wanted too much time on the ball when a first-time effort was required, and with almost the last kick Scott Costello’s hooked effort went just over the bar.
Team: Craig Smith, Stephan Langley, Shane Cheeseman, Olly Edwardes (Ashley Hitchinson 79), Oliver Creed, Lloyd Connelly, Ricardo Andre (Harvey Valter 86), Zeid Hannachi (Jamil Saleh 70), Antonio Dembele, Scott Costello, Leon Dadey. Unused subs: Michael Leech, Stuart Norman, Neil Roissetter, Dejarhn Grant.
Referee: Adekola Adeyemi